TXU Energy's message to utilities
A representative of TXU Energy, speaking at the Next Generation Utilities Summit, delivered a simple message: There is a fundamental difference in the mindset of a company when value is created based on customer choice.
TXU's Vice President of Customer Operations Don Smith means, simply, that there is a difference between a customer and a ratepayer.
"TXU Energy has spent the past decade and millions of dollars developing service plans and customer services that meet our business and residential customers' needs and exceed their expectations," Smith said. "In this hyper-competitive market, we want consumers to choose us because we deliver the best service, offer the best electric service plans and innovate constantly to make TXU Energy their best option."
Smith, who worked for more than 20 years in a fully regulated market, said that even regulated utilities can benefit from a mindset that focuses more on customers.
"These companies would not only be better-positioned for any future competition, but they would also minimize consumers' complaints to regulators, reducing costs and increasing returns," he said.
Smith also urged utility executives to concentrate on basic customer service and getting it right; redefine the customer relationship; re-think customer segments; expand analytics to better understand customers; and focus on branding to create positive connotations with customers.
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